La Petite École offers a unique bilingual art based full day program. No French is necessary to begin! In a nurturing environment, we develop an academic foundation through an arts- and environmentally-based approach.
We offer a multicultural experience through hands on creative activities and explorations of the environment, and get to know each child and his or her needs. Our unique program focuses on early developmental awakening through song, play, visual arts, movement, music, yoga and experiments in the natural world. These fun and enriching experiences serve the development of the whole child, and awaken a motivation for learning and interacting.
La Petite Ecole is a full day program to engage your child in this unique Bilingual Art-venture! We visit the Portland Public library, the Portland Museum of Art, the seasonal Public Market and the MECA library to inspire art projects and help develop age-appropriate skills including social, cognitive, communication, and motor skills.
Marie-Gaëlle was born in Paris, France, in 1970, and grew up in Paris and Brittany. From an early age, with her young friends and family she forged a passion for sharing her love of the arts, nature and languages. In 1991, she came to Portland to pursue a degree in Fine Arts at the Maine College of Art where she received a BFA in Sculpture in 1996. She began her teaching career through Spiral Arts Inc., focusing on three-dimensional concepts as well as two-dimensional art forms like book binding and paper making. In the pursuit of higher education, Marie-Gaëlle completed Lesley College’s Masters in Education program, specializing in Creative Arts in Learning in 2000. She continued teaching art in French-based programs throughout the greater Portland area, including L’Ecole Francaise du Maine /French School of Maine’s total immersion program.
Finally in 2008, with over 15 years of teaching experience, Marie-Gaëlle put all her devotion as an educator into creating her dream: a unique Bilingual Art-venture called La Petite Ecole. Her mission is to promote learning languages-French/English- at a young age through fun hands on experiences through the Arts.
Pauline was born and raised in Paris. At a very early age she became fascinated by the world’s diversity of languages and cultures. After completing her High school’s degree in Literature and Philosophy, she went on to study “Language, Literature and Foreign Civilisation” in English at the University of La Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.
Pauline discovered her taste for teaching young children when spending a summer as an “au pair” to a two year old in San Fransisco in 2006, and was offered a grant to study abroad for her Master’s degree. She therefore spent a schoolyear at Randolph Macon, VA, where she was a tutor and a teaching assistant for the French department.
In 2009, Pauline moved to Portland, ME and met Marie-Gaëlle Casset-Ford at the very beginning of La Petite Ecole. Pauline is now teaching her third year as an Assistant Teacher at L’Ecole. She is very invested in the school with a lot of enthusiasm in the language acquisition spectrum of the program and enjoys developing experiences with bilingual children.
The gift of a second language for a child is invaluable, and when we heard about La Petite Ecole, we wanted to take full advantage of it. We worried that our children might be confused at first, but when we met Marie-Gaelle, all of our fears disappeared. One simply cannot imagine anyone more kind and warm. She is so patient and nurturing with her students, and the way our children grew and blossomed under her care was extraordinary. They received not only a bi-lingual education, but also a daily appreciation of art and culture which has really shaped their perspectives. Marie-Gaelle also places great emphasis on treating one another with kindness and generosity, and our children experienced a calm and tranquil environment at LPE.Aaron, Papa of Daphne and Cora
Our daughter Maia had a wonderful experience at LPE. She attended this small French school for almost 2 years, and we feel so fortunate that she had exposure to French and the arts at such a young age. It’s great that the school is right in town and that the kids often go on excursions exploring the area. Maia loved going to the farmers market, the library, the Portland Museum of Art and nearby playgrounds. She also enjoyed the amazing art projects and singing in French! I would recommend LPE to families interested in a warm, nurturing, and creative environment with wonderful teachers.
Our daughter attended La Petite Ecole for 3 years (ages 2-5). We were so happy with our time there. The teachers are wonderful, passionate, creative, gentle, nurturing and bring their cultural experiences to the class. Marie-Gaelle creates a fantastic inspiring art-based curriculum. The space she has crafted is warm and whimsical and the location is centrally located enabling the kids to go on walks through the city to the library, farmer’s market, playgrounds, museum, etc. I feel blessed that Cody was able to have such beautiful formative years at La Petite Ecole.Elizabeth, Maman of Cody 5yrs
Our daughter spent 4 blissful years at La Petite Ecole, where she explored her artistic passions while learning French at the same time. She thrived in the loving, creative and fun atmosphere of LPE. What always struck me throughout her time there was how well her teachers knew her, how in tune they were with her personality, her strengths and weaknesses, her emotional make-up. We dropped her off at LPE each morning secure in the knowledge that she was in the best hands ever. And, much to our delight, her French is fluent, so much so that she seamlessly transitioned from LPE to another French school with no issues whatsoever. I cannot overemphasize how much we love this school!!!!Lisa, Maman of Ella
After three years at La Petite Ecole, my child had grown in many ways, both expected and surprising. We expected that she would learn some French, but we didn’t know that she would sing French lullabies to her baby sister at night and be conversant with her teachers by age six. We knew she would flourish in an artistic environment, but didn’t know that she would henceforth see our recycling bin as a bottomless resource for sculptural inspirations, or that she would sit for hours looking through her many neatly bound ‘cahiers de vie,’ where her teachers had compiled all of her art and school work from every semester.Bethany, Maman of Eleanor
If you are looking for a wonderful preschool in the center of town please consider La Petite Ecole. Oliver attended for 18 months and we can’t say enough wonderful things about this lovely, creative, nurturing environment – plus it has the added bonus of teaching your children to speak French. We are already looking forward to Hugo joining one day soon. Alice, Maman of Oliver
$630/m for 3 full days
$745/m for 4 full days
$870/m for 5 full days
$ 1050/m for 5 full days
7:30am to 8:30am and 3pm to 5:30pm, $13/hr.
Summer Art in French Camp 2016 Summer masks: Animals and ME Weekly mask making with recycled materials. June 20th-23th and June 27th-30th July 5th-8th Mon-Thursday (Except the week of the fourth: Tues-Fri) 8:30-3:00 5 students min. to run the Camp and 8 max. Sign up now to save a spot for your ‘ petit artiste’ !…